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Opinions/reflections 2017 

 

January

Reclaiming your virtual self
How can we use the web, social media and our smartphones in a way that’s aligned with our faith? By Guy Brandon

Pride disguised as humility? 
It is right and good to pray for ourselves; but those prayers should not be selfish. How that can be? By Colin Sedgwick

A reflection on Baptists and leadership 
The term leadership can split opinion among Baptists, but wholesome leadership is both biblical and vital in enabling others to thrive. By Nigel Wright

Nothing left but the screen
How do we break into the hollowed-out lives of those in the hidden places of our communities, whose only company is the television? By Michael Manning

Why do pastors burn out?
When leading a church becomes principally about numerical growth and legacy, it’s no wonder church leaders struggle. There is another road. By Joe Haward

The most powerful thing you can do for POTUS 
Donald Trump will need the prayers of the church if he is going to have any measure of success in leading the nation. By Frank Lewis

Multi-ethnic Churches: a gospel imperative
God has demonstrated that His Gospel brings an end to whatever divides us - multi-ethnic churches are essential in a post-Brexit world. By Israel Olofinjana

Loitering with intent 
Jesus offers really only one strategy for mission.... and it is this, writes Michael Shaw 
 

February

Leadership in smaller churches 
There are many encouragements amid the challenges of leading smaller churches, including growing network support. By Hilary Taylor

Looking down on other people
By what right does any Christian presume to pass serious judgement on someone else?

Sage on the stage, or guide on the side?
The enabling leader: giving people the tools to face their problems is a leadership that encourages congregations to develop their giftings

A reflection on prayerfulness
Is prayer the same as prayerfulness? As mindfulness? Or … do you pray like the Simpsons?

An urgent call for the confessing church
Amid rising racism and hate mongering in a turbulent world, the Church needs to rise up and confess Christ

Effective multicultural leadership teams 
Understanding the four areas where misunderstandings can occur when people of differing cultural backgrounds work together

10 years on: The Journey continues 
Increasing the number of Black and minority ethnic (BME) ministers and leaders remains a challenge for Baptists
 

March

Plain sailing - or sinking?
Comparing our spiritual lives to a boat - where are you on the sea of life?

Maybe it isn’t disabled people who need healing 
What if we all get to heaven and realise disabled people were healed all along? Rachel Wright shares a modern day parable

Where there's nowhere to hide
How smaller churches can open a door to leadership opportunities (even in partnership with larger ones)

Questions we’re afraid to ask about the Bible
Have you noticed in church when we have an Old Testament reading, the reading always stops JUST before it gets gruesome?

Responding to hate - a reflection'
The hate of this man will not die with him if it still lives within us.' 

The thieves on the cross 
Who were they – and what lessons can we learn from them?
 

April


Doing Satan’s work for him 
Post-truth? Fake news? In a world awash with lies and half-truths, we who claim to follow Jesus are called to be men and women of total integrity and cast-iron honesty.

What keeps you going? 
I wouldn’t be going anywhere without my kaleidoscope of pills, writes a Baptist minister living with heart disease. But they’re not enough on their own. How would you answer the question What keeps you going?

Why do Christians clash? … conflict in the church 
Churches are more vulnerable to conflict than any other group, community, or organisation, writes Chris Goswami. Why?

Why just grow your church when you can MULTIPLY it? 
A new project to help Baptist churches explore a multi-congregational future is being launched. Simon Goddard explains more

Beacons of Hope 
What does it mean to be Beacons of Hope in a world where hope is so often in short supply? By Lynn Green

'It's not all about Brexit'
Brexit is likely to dominate the next seven weeks, pushing back other matters of genuine priority. Let's not forget them. By Chris Goswami 

The General Election and the Resurrection of Jesus 
No-one can confess Jesus as Lord with integrity and exclude politics from that confession. By Peter Shepherd

 


May

Rethinking Old Testament ethics  
How do we make sense of some of the more difficult passages of the Old Testament - and what relevance do they have for Christians today? By Hetty Lalleman

How are you feeling? 
Our emotions are important – but must always be subordinate to that day-by-day desire to know God and trust him – however we may be feeling

Living, moving, being
How do we confront the structural challenges that break people, rather than offer sticking plaster solutions? By Michael Manning

As in Heaven – President’s address 
In an address that mixed challenge with encouragement, new President Dianne Tidball called on Baptists to 'to wake up, seek God, share good news and punch holes in the darkness'

Rebuilding our confidence in prayer 
Baptist minister Chris Band was overwhelmed with questions about prayer. It led to a deep study, lengthy interviews... and a book called On My Knees. He shares some of that journey

A new jungle? 
Refugees remain in Calais, despite last year's clearing of the camp there, writes Simon Jones - and conditions are worse than before 
 

June

Leadership: The Model is Jesus 
Jesus offers perfect leadership – and here’s why we need to rediscover it, writes Karl Martin

Sacrifice 
A poem about the Manchester bombing, by Baptist minister Darrell Holmes

The perils of the echo chamber
Beware personal attacks and focus on policy in the final days of the election, writes David Mayne 

'Thank God I'm vulnerable'
To remove our vulnerability would be to remove our humanity – a Baptist minister's reflection after the London terror attack

The election and the environment
With our care for God's creation high on his agenda, former Baptist Union President John Weaver examines the environmental policies of the main parties

'Christians are the new heretics'
Where does Tim Farron’s resignation leave us? A reflection by Baptist blogger Chris Gowami

Creation groans - the London fire  
Ours is the task to provide the space where the groans of a shattered creation can be heard. By Phil Jump

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